By Jani Meyer

Bephu the Bear has reason to smile - his honey pot received a R45 000 boost from donors on Thursday.

The bear is the mascot and "spokesperson" for thousands of children orphaned by Aids, and his honey pot is the measurement of how much money has been received by the Orphans of Aids Trust Fund.

On Thursday, First National Bank handed over R30 000 to the trust and TP Electrical boosted the pot with a further R25 000.

The Orphans of Aids Trust Fund will be officially launched at the International Convention Centre on Saturday.

The trust is an Independent Newspapers KwaZulu-Natal initiative in partnership with government and business, supported by the European Union Consular Corps.

The gala dinner will be attended by Nelson Mandela, King Goodwill Zwelithini and Deputy President Dr Jacob Zuma.

The trust fund aims at bettering the future for the thousands of children affected by Aids.

Zuma and King Goodwill are patrons of the fund and the trustees are Provincial Health Minister Zweli Mkhize; chairman of Edison Corporation Vivian Reddy; Graeme King, managing director of Independent Newspapers KwaZulu-Natal; Pier Bjorvig, Consul of the Royal Danish Consulate, and Jerry Coovadia of the University of Natal.

Donations can be made to Orphans of Aids Trust, First National Bank (city main branch), account number: 62028219295, Branch no: 221426 NPO number: 002 - 088 (Community Projects).

Or contact Soraya Khan at Independent Newspapers on (031) 308 2160, fax: (031) 308 2548, email: [email protected].